5 Reasons Why An Author Should Self-Publish

1. Your Book Crosses Genres
Score!! An agent has expressed an interest in your book! But oh dear. She says they can’t take it, because they haven’t a clue how or where to pitch it. They just don’t know whether to shelve it in the Science Fiction section, or in Gardening.

Look. A lot of people working in publishing are jaded, working under pressure and only one dole cheque away from making a costly bad bet. The whole point of your book is that it’s supposed to be non-derivative. In fact, you’re absolutely certain it’s the first ever book about a celebrity gardener, fond of talking about engine repair, who discovers a portal to a plantless dystopian gas-cloud in a clump of azaleas. Take the burden off them. Publish your goddamn self.

Yay! It's Finished!2. You Already Sent It Out – Waaaaay Too Early
You wrote your book. You thought it was brilliant! You then got rejected by every agent in the stratosphere, and sank into a depression for 5 months before joining a writing group and finding out that some parts of your book were actually nonsensical and at times, pretty damn awful. Now you’ve rewritten the whole damn thing and forty people have told you it’s much better, but you can’t send it out to the same agents again cos that’s against the law. Self-publishing is your saviour.

3. You Know You Have The Hit Of The Century And You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage
There are 2 scenarios here. One: you’ve just finished a 5-book deal to write thrillers for a publisher who, if you were to follow your heart, you would sue for fiscal rape, defamation AND pain and suffering. You wouldn’t touch them again with a barge pole. But you have a lovely fan-bank built up now, and they are panting for your next offering. What are you waiting for? Go it alone.

For the as yet Great Unpublished, however – what if your book is so stupifyingly brilliant (or just populist… it doesn’t need to be well written to sell millions. Yes I’m talking about you, E.L. James) it’s likely to make a publisher so much money it would make you cross-eyed? Traditional publishing gives you a cut. Self-publishing can make you rich. And most of us like money, let’s be honest about it.

4. You’ve Changed Genres
You have a 2-book deal to write crime thrillers. Yay! Except you’ve just written a 300-page steamer of erotica set in the torrid world of waste collection that you think might actually make you some serious dosh. Your crime thriller publisher would be horrified. Presuming your current contract won’t kill you for it, self-publish.

Harvesting Dosh5. Rejection Sucks
Look. We’ve all thought it. If everyone’s rejected your script, it might be time to give up, right? John Banville said as much during the 2013 Dublin Writer’s Festival, but enough about him.  Life’s too short, and so is he.

There are simply hundreds of stories about writers who were rejected 40 times before going on to be credited with the bestseller of the year. Sometimes you just have to have confidence in yourself. Sometimes you have to trust in your own work, and self-publish. (But for God’s sake, get it edited first or I’ll be sending the boys round.)

  11 comments for “5 Reasons Why An Author Should Self-Publish

  1. September 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Thank you for brightening up my Monday. I hope this is going to inspire (or put a rocket under) a lot of people to get their books out there.


    • September 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      It’s a scary new world, but no more scary than sitting by the postbox (/Inbox) for 2 years checking off each rejection as it comes in. Presuming they have the start-up cash required of course, what has an author to lose?


  2. Scoop Jackson..."News 60"
    September 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    It used to be a “no-no” to do a self-publication. But in today’s world, I believe that stigma has been removed somewhat. These are some very good points you make for getting a story “out there.”



    • September 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      I think self-publishing is a bit like internet dating…. Ten years ago everyone thought it was for people who couldn’t get a date. Now it’s for savvy people who want better dates. Another few years, and attitudes will come around. It’s all about catching up with actual human behaviour!


      • Scoop Jackson..."News 60"
        September 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

        I couldn’t agree more, Tara! I got kicked around by arrogant publishers myself in years past. I knew that my work was as good as, or better in some cases as the next guy’s.

        But, as you say, our attitudes are changing and those “old ways” will drop out to some degree in time!

        Thanks for a great post and a quick reply…

        Scoop 🙂


  3. carolannwrites
    September 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Self publishing gives you SUCH a sense of achievement!


    • September 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      And why not? Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, you still wrote and marketed a book!


  4. October 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

    24/7 in France: Thanks – Self publishing gets the job done, but the marketing is harder than writing and publishing – I have done three books and fourth is forthcoming (no pun intended)!


    • October 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Absolutely agree. The marekting is tough, tough, tough. They say writing the book is only 25% of the job nowadays, really. But at least the online writing community is a fantastic resource for info sharing and encouragement. Good luck with your 4th book – what an achievement – I’ll be trotting along to your blog now for a look 🙂


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